The Most Daring Game

by Donovan Dulisse

So this is how it ends huh? Dan said slowly as debris sank past him and clouds of red billowed through the warm bay current. Better than hmmm I dont know what this is better than. This actually really sucks. Dan then saw a mass of muscle thrash past him, realizing that it was not the leviathan, which was occupied with a few crewmen above him, but the alligator BOW. It looked very pleased to see Dan once again.

Upon Dans closer inspection, the gator had a large tattoo with BioTeks logo on it, and the name undertaker 042. It was equipped with four sets of massive claws that ended in barbs the size of fish hooks. Needless to say, Dan decided that maybe he should cling to life a little longer and avoid what looked like a very, very painful death. With powerful strokes, Dan pulled like a madman for the surface of the salty bay. However, he was only a man, while his reptilian friend was a bioengineered swimming and killing machine. The gator used its fan-like tail to propel itself with a terrible speed, a speed that Dan could not hope to beat. Fortunately for Dan, the gator had overestimated him by about four feet; that was when Dan had the most brilliant, insane, and just plain stupid idea he had ever thought of.

He grabbed the gator. Dan was lucky as the creature could not reach him and decided to shake him off at the surface. Sadly, this meant that the gator was now moving at a desperate, breakneck speed for the surface and it was not happy about its new rider. Dan saw the surface approaching, when he was suddenly thrust into the air, propelled by the massive creature he now clung to. Just as suddenly as he surfaced, he submerged. With barely a breath of air in between his swim and his flight, Dan decided that now would be a good time to exit the ride. Suddenly swirling around in the bay, he quickly fought for air while the surface was teasing him with the blinding light above him. He broke the surface and tasted the sweetest air he ever had the privilege of tasting and then was pulled underwater with an alarming ferocity. The undertaker was indeed living up to its name, and was pulling him down to the inky depths. His foot was in the BOWs mouth and it did not look like it was going to let go. However, it did not appear to be gnawing on his leg, but merely holding it and pulling him farther down. The gator then clamped down harder and his leg seared with a burning pain, and he felt surprisingly tired. The pain started to fade; slowly he felt his eyes close and the world around him slip away. He saw a bright flash of white, his vision clouded red, and then quickly to black.

    This is what its like to be dead huh? Seems a lot more dull than its supposed to be, and why are there seagulls? Maybe Im in hell with those damned birds. Daniel was not in hell as he knew it, but a hell of the mortal kind. When he opened his eyes he found a blonde, bearded man standing over him, who promptly announced Dans awakening to the rest of the troop standing to the side of him.

Who are you? A gruff, commanding voice growled. Dan looked over at the man who had addressed him and saw the captain with a thinning hairline and an expanding waistline. The man stood with an air of authority, and still looked like he could take any man standing before him and use him as a mop to clean up their own blood.

Im Dan; I came here with that craz I mean Dr. Lumbard. Dan saw the doctor looking over the captains shoulder, and he did not look happy about Dans freudian slip. Dan sat up and instantaneously felt his leg rage in protest, he gasped in shock and examined the wound.

The Alligator BOW that got you was designed to silently drown victims; or at the very least insert a parasitic worm that quickly caused massive hemorrhaging and crawled into your brain to drive you insane. Lumbard calmly looked at Dan as he jumped up, ignoring pain, and proceeded to yell at the bearded blonde to get it out of him. The captain simply strode over, picked Dan up like a kitten, and shook him until his leg dripped a steady flow of blood onto the grass.

Get a grip man! The captain bellowed into Dans face loud enough to make his ears ring like a pair of phones. We already got it out; you can thank the doctor for that. And if you dont calm down, Ill shove that worm right back into you! Are we clear?!? The captain then released Dan, only to have him fall on his back and wince in pain.

Were clearuh sir! Dan stuttered as his brain cleared and made sense of what was going on. Then the bearded man walked up to the captain, they fixed eyes for a moment and the man spoke up.

Sir, some of the men and I believe that we can use one of the cutters in the marina to get off of the island the man was cut off midsentence by the captain,

You really think you can get past that thing out there? That monster snapped a reinforced, steel hull in half like it was made of glass, and you think that a cutter made of overpriced plastic will stand a better chance? The captain looked dismayed and enraged at the crewmans incompetence.

Sir, the cutter can move faster than the Magalia ever could. We could outrun the thing and make it out of here alive, instead of dashing into the heart of this damned island, being reduced to red smears along the ground!

Fine, take all the fools and traitorous dogs with you, you yellow-bellied scum! With that, the captain stormed off and went over to a map of the island and began to chart a path to the facility.

     More than half of the crew went along with the bearded blonde. As they got out of the bay the leviathan followed, but could not catch them. They really made it, Dan thought in disbelief. All of a sudden, a dozen tentacles as long as a two story building erupted out of the ocean in front of the cutter. The cutter swerved to avoid the tentacles and turned back only to find another dozen waiting for them. The tentacles wrapped around the cutter, and with unnatural force, pulled the whole ship under the waves. The water stilled and the remaining crewmen looked out in horror at the fate that they had avoided. When suddenly, half of the cutter shot to the surface, followed by a deep moaning wail; the cutter was bitten in half and a cloud of red pooled around the remains of the ship.

    As everyone looked at Lumbard, who looked even more terrified than any of them, he spoke in a shaky and rattled voice, That that was the Kraken its unstoppable it should not even exist. We all agreed that the destruction the chaos it would cause was too great It was supposed to be the ultimate weapon, more destructive than the atomic bomb, and the project was even more secret than the Manhattan project. How can this exist? It grows with every kill it makes, its amphibious, it regenerates all wounds, and any diseases that might affect it will be cured by its immune system, why does this exist?!?

There has to be some way to kill it; its an animal, and it bleeds, right? The captain spoke to Lumbard with apprehension and disbelief.

The only way to kill the Kraken was a specially designed virus that would paralyze the creatures immune system and prevent it from healing its wounds. It would be in the facility, but there is no way we can get it. If the Kraken was created, then that means one of the researchers deliberately did so.

Which means what exactly? Dan said as he limped over to the doctor.

It means someone made it and then deliberately set it loose, so they are not going to let us walk up to the lab and kill the very beast they gave life to and had unleashed!

Oh Dan quietly murmured, fearful of unleashing the doctors wrath anymore than he already had.

Alright, we know what we have to do then, we have to go to that lab, kill that bastard, get the virus, and kill the Kraken. Lets go. The captain had already started off towards the facility in the distance when Lumbard called after him,

We cant do that, it will be impossible to get near the facility, let alone the lab. We should run away from here as fast as we can and as far as we can!

The captain suddenly stopped upon hearing this and slowly turned around and strode up to Lumbard.

What other choice do we have?

We will find a way off of the island and we will be safe! Lumbard cried out to the man before him.

How? Where can we flee to? Where can we escape the Kraken? We cannot run from this. Our only hope is to get to the lab and kill that thing before it spreads beyond all control and destroys everything as you say it will! Now, Im going. You can stay, but Im going; and any man is welcome to come along or stay behind, that will be every mans decision and each must live with their decision. Whos coming?

And with that the captain resumed his march and did not look back. Three out of the eleven remaining crew left to follow the captain. Dan had decided as soon as the captain had finished, and was already limping steadily behind the captain; Lumbard looked on in frustration, at the futility of their actions, but with hope at their bravery. He wanted to follow, but he did not.

    Dan steadily but painfully limped to keep up with the captain, who was now at the facilitys gate, and looked back to see the three crewmen running after him. The crewmen passed by a large, thorny bush, when a blur of tan and grey shot out of the greenery and collided with the last crewmen. The pair fell to the ground, tumbling and thrashing. When the blur stopped, and a lion the size of a pick-up truck with a long, bushy tail was standing over bloodied and very dead crewman, the lion quickly centered on Dan and took off running. Dan saw the beast lunging forward, pulled the magnum from his holster, and dropped to a crouch. Unfortunately for the lion, it never before witnessed the odd black object that Dan held, and it had assumed that it was Dans way of giving up. With less than five yards between the man and the hunter, Dan fired one round; a round that moved so fast it closed the distance as fast as lightning and hit the lion in the head like a tank. The lion was dead before it heard the thunder of the shot roll through the land. As the lion grinded to a halt at Dans feet, he leapt back. A bat the size of a Great-Dane burst out of the lions rib cage and shot into the sky like a twisted angel seeking its former height. The remaining crewmen bolted to the captain and swiveled urgently to spot the new threat; it struck with a terrifying ferocity and speed like no other. It pulled its wings in and drove hard at the two remaining crewmen, knocking them off of their feet, while the bat bit and tore at them. Dan whipped over to the bat and fired three shots directly into the writhing black mass. Even though Dan managed to kill the bat with startling speed, it was already too late for both of the crewmen.

    The captain said his farewells to his faithful crew and turned to the door, while Dan reloaded his revolver in case of more furry friends. When the captain reached over and slid the doors open with an utter lack of effort, it was apparent that the electricity was not functioning correctly. This was a fact made even clearer by the flickering emergency lights, lining the hallway in front of them. They both looked at one another. Much to Dans apparent dismay, it was ruled that Dan should go first, as he possessed the only means of protection between them. The pair stumbled upon a map of the facility, along with a legend that explained the colored stripes leading down each hallway to their respective labs. After looking through the legend and happening upon a room entitled defense cache, they decided that would be a logical place to stop before heading to their final destination labeled Doomsday Reversal 020045: Kraken.

    The defense cache looked like it came straight out of a war movie, tripped through the sci-fi wing, and decided to pick up some supplies at the nacho cheese B-movie set. All of this happened while on its way to the secret corporate facility where it currently resided. The assortment was huge and the quality was great. However, Dan decided to keep things simple. He picked up a rifled, lever-action shotgun, loaded with buck and ball shells. Then he decided to take an extra bandolier of shells he found marked with a warning label that covered every shell in black ink. It simply read, Molotov load; WARNING: contact with incendiaries or explosives of this nature require extreme caution and should never be used against human forces in combat Dan shrugged and slung the bandolier over his shoulder and carried on.

    The captain, however, selected a huge cannon-sized rifle, with bullets that were as long as his hand and looked like they could demolish the leviathan in one shot. He also grabbed a strange pistol, that looked like a flare gun.

What is that, and more importantly how can you even fire that thing? Dan asked with no attempt to hide his astonishment.

This is the HATE; Huge Anti-Terrestrial Enforcer. Replied the captain with a smirk.

Really? Dan bewilderedly asked.

No, its just a really big gun that makes really big holes in really big monsters. This other thing is the launcher for that virus that idiot quack was babbling about.

Oh I knew that, but its great that you found that launcher. Lumbard never mentioned a launcher. Dan quickly replied. The two strapped down their new weapons and proceeded to the lab to prevent the Kraken apocalypse that Lumbard so desperately feared.

    The halls were not as empty as before. They were filled not with BOWS, but the various parts of the researchers and scientists who worked at the facility. Dan and the captain slowly made their way through the narrow corridor, not wanting to approach the scattered remains lining the hallway. In addition, they were further forced to move slowly by Dans injured leg and the captains rifle. They had encountered only one BOW on the way, which was quickly dealt with by Dans shotgun. Upon arriving, they saw that there was someone in the lab already waiting for them.

    Hello, sir? Dan cautiously ventured nearer to the room. The man slowly turned around. Dan immediately raised his gun and prepared to fire, but before he could even put his sights on the man, he dashed at Dan and bowled him over like a star lineman. The man hissed at the pair and showed that he was not a man anymore. The creature stood about six foot five, trim, with shock white hair that stood at all angles and fell out in clumps with every step. He had eyes that looked glazed over with blood, and a pair of oversized mandibles jutting out of its mouth; it was Lumbard.

    The thing that was Lumbard paused before lunging at Dan with its mandibles; it was remembering Dan and the captain. It remembered the voice, how it came out of the ocean and seemed to wrap around him and crush his freewill, how it told him of the evil trying to harm him. It told him to kill Dan, and Lumbard could only refuse for so long before it broke through his last shred of will. So Lumbard did the only thing he could, he ran out of the facility to the center of the voice.

     Dan stood in complete shock at the events that had transpired. It was the captain who had to grab the virus and load it into the launcher before Dan could even begin to move.

Dan Lets go. Theres nothing that we can do for him, nothing that we know of anyway. The captain shook Dan to bring him out of the shock and get him moving.

Okay Its just he turned in what, about forty minutes? How can we kill Lumbard, I mean he moved faster than I can aim, let alone something that can cause him to change so drastically in less than an hour?

I dont know. Im going to guess by putting enough rounds into him, but if you have a better idea Im all ears. The captain called back as he started walking down the corridor.

    Once exiting the facility, the captain saw that the giant tentacles were much closer; so close that they were resting on the docks and stretching inland. Dan saw it too, and then he saw Lumbard on one of the tentacles. Some of the tentacles had a sharp, bony point; Lumbard was impaled on one of these spikes. Dan sprinted over to Lumbard as the tentacle rose in the air, high enough for Lumbard to stand normally, and Lumbard spoke. It wasnt Lumbard talking though; Lumbard was dead, impaled through the stomach. It was the Kraken that spoke through Lumbard with a voice that was shrill but echoing.

Joinnn meee This voice emanated from Lumbards mouth in a raspy, piercing hiss. The captain looked at Lumbard, and then at Dan, before raising his rifle and erasing Lumbard with a single shot.

    With that, the Kraken raised all of its tentacles and smashed them against the ground in front of the captain with brutal force. Dan and the captain flew back due to the massive shock wave that followed, leaving both struggling to get up. The Kraken lifted its arms again and forced them into the earth. It pulled itself forward out of the water, smashing the docks to pieces. It was as tall as the Washington monument and as long as an aircraft carrier. It had eight milky eyes, a gaping maw filled with pointed teeth, and various spider-like BOWs crawling over its skin. The captain was up first and looked at Dan for a moment. Dan saw what he had to do. The captain readied the virus launcher, took aim at one of the eyes of the monster, and pulled the trigger. With the sound of a whistling screech, the vial went soaring out of the launchers barrel like a piece of plastic tubing flying through the air. The vial had found its mark because the Kraken howled in fury and pain. Dan got up and saw that the spiders were racing towards them, in hopes of taking them down. Dan, however, had other plans. He pulled the sights of the shotgun up and let fly at the closest spider, two of its legs flew off but it kept coming. Dan chambered another round and fired. This shot stopped the charging arachnid, but about a dozen followed. Meanwhile, the captain, using the massive rifle, decided to test the virus and took a shot at the Kraken. Even though the Kraken had a hard shell, the shot had blown a piece off exposing the vulnerable flesh. A small stream of blood trickled from the wound, and the captain, seeing the virus work, reminded himself out loud, If it bleeds, it can be killed.

    Dan kept firing at the smaller BOWs, allowing the captain to focus on the Kraken, but the kraken raised one of its arms and shot a long spike out of the tip. The spike landed and impaled itself deep into the earth next to the captains foot. The pair saw the threat the tentacle posed and concentrated their fire on the projectile throwing arm. Suddenly, Dan found himself out of ammo and had to rifle through his bag to find more. However, there was none. In a panic, Dan checked his pockets and brushed against the bandolier around his torso. He found Molotov rounds, which are perfect for killing a giant doomsday monster. Dan wasted no time reloading his firearm with the newly found shells, as another spider drew nearer. He quickly snapped the shotgun up and pulled the trigger. Almost instantly, the spider exploded, showering the area in liquid fire. The captain looked back to see Dan standing triumphantly with the shotgun. Then a spike sprouted from the captains chest as a bloom of red welled up under his shirt. Dan cried out, but the captain was already gone. In a fit of blind rage, Dan charged forward pumping as many rounds as he could into the Kraken. The Kraken screamed in its shrill tone as its flesh started to burn and shots exploded on it. Dan continued his mad dash, firing and reloading as he ran, weakening the Kraken with every shot. One of the spiders ran up to Dan and slashed at him, slicing his arms and face before he could ram the stock into the spiders head and knock it out. The captain had removed most of the Krakens armor. Dan was burning and firing at every square inch available, causing the Krakens loud wail to slowly fade until it finally died out. The Kraken was barely recognizable; ravaged by fire and high powered shots, it was finally dead. Dan slumped on the ground before him, as he watched one of the spiders sprint madly towards him. Dan closed his eyes knowing that he had stopped the Kraken and he could finally rest. However, that rest never came. When Dan came to, the spider was a foot away from him, but it was dead. Dan looked up and saw a man dressed in combat armor, with a red cross detailing the chest. Dan saw soldiers all around him, and also noticed that he was not on the ground anymore. He was in the air on a chopper. One of the medics looked at him and quickly checked some machines lying close by before asking him,

Do you know where you are? Can you speak to me?

No, I have no idea where I am. How are you? Dan cautiously ventured.

Were the US Special Forces unit; do you know what happened here, are there any other survivors?

Only me, what happened is a long story I only want to have to say once, and I have a feeling a lot of people are going to want to talk to me about this. Where are we headed?

Were going home, back to the US. Sit tight and well take it from here. With that, Dan went to sleep and went home.

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